Friday Kickoff: Platini backs winter World Cup, Houston re-signs Boswell and more

Platini (Getty Images)

It remains to be seen whether the 2022 World Cup will be played in the summer or the winter, but one high-ranking FIFA official has a solution to ensure a winter World Cup gets played without a problem: Move the two biggest competitions in European club soccer. 

Ahead of Friday's Euro 2012 draw in the Ukraine, UEFA president Michel Platini said that he is open to moving the UEFA Champions League and Europa League competitions in order to accommodate a winter World Cup in Qatar.

"If we play in winter, not a problem to organize it," said Platini, who admitted to voting for Qatar over the other candidates in an interview with Al Jazeera. "How can people go to Qatar in 50 degrees (celsius) in June? If the people can't come to enjoy it, it's not good. If we play in winter it will be not a problem. Instead (of stopping the season) in May you play until June, and then stop in December. Where is the problem?"

Here are a few more stories to get your Friday going:


One of the more intriguing names on the MLS Re-Entry Draft list is no longer eligible for selection.

Bobby Boswell and the Houston Dynamo agreed to a new deal Thursday, one that extends the starting centerback's stay with the club. Terms of the deal were not released.

Boswell, whose 2011 salary figure was $210,000, was a key component of Houston's run to MLS Cup and has been with the club for the last four seasons. Houston had until Friday at 5 p.m. to come to terms with him on a new deal before exposing him to the first phase of the Re-Entry Draft, which takes place on Monday.


It didn't take Sunderland very long to find a successor for Steve Bruce.

Two days after firing Bruce, the club reportedly has a deal in place with former Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill to take over on the sidelines.

O'Neill, who won't coach the Black Cats' game against Wolverhampton this weekend, last managed in the 2009-2010 season, stepping down from his post at Villa just days before the 2010-2011 campaign was set to start. He'll be charged with turning around a team that has won just twice in 13 league games and sits 16th in the Premier League table.


Real Salt Lake traded midfielder Jean Alexandre to the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft.

The Haitian international never really lived up to expectations with RSL after being the 12th overall pick in the 2009 SuperDraft. He was thrust into a forward role because of team injuries during the summer and responded with some promising performances, including a goal and an assist against the Vancouver Whitecaps in June.

Alexandre is the second player to be acquired in as many days by the Earthquakes, after the team dealt allocation money to Vancouver for Shea Salinas on Wednesday. 


What do you think of Platini's comments? Think Houston made the right move by re-signing Boswell? Do you see O'Neill turning things around at Sunderland? Can you see Alexandre playing a big role for San Jose?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, FIFA World Cup, MLS- Houston Dynamo, MLS- Real Salt Lake, MLS- San Jose Earthquakes. Bookmark the permalink.

71 Responses to Friday Kickoff: Platini backs winter World Cup, Houston re-signs Boswell and more

  1. OmarVizquel says:

    Supposedly there was a meeting in Paris right before the WC vote with Sarkozy, Platini, and a member of the Qatar ruling family. Platini denies that there was any pressure from Sarko to vote for Qatar — a main trading ally of France. Yep — sure, Mike, we believe ya.

  2. Alex G says:

    I think Platini and FIFA executives are delusional, why give a WC to an impossible host?, I just don´t get it, take Qatar hosting rights away and give them to the USA, problem solved.

  3. Second City says:

    The Qatar World Cup situation should be some sick joke we’re all laughing at. Instead, it’s the sad reality of deep corruption in FIFA.

    Sickens me every time I read about.

    Regarding Boswell being re-signed, I guess this opens the door for Hainault to be traded to Montreal for Ching?

  4. Alex says:

    I wonder how much Platini was paid for his vote?

  5. JGD says:

    We wouldn’t even be having this debate if they hadn’t stupidly awarded the Cup to Qatar in the first place. Most blatant example of implicit (and explicit) vote buying. I’m not even just pissed that the U.S. didn’t get it; Australia, Japan, and South Korea would all have been better choices.

    Platini will be Sepp 2.0 when his reign begins. What a corrupt organization.

  6. Alex G says:

    A big joke on us, frankly I believe it is an insult to pick Qatar over the US, but corruption is on FIFA´s side.

  7. JGD says:

    Good hiring by Sunderland. O’Neill is a competent manager who should be able to turn things around. I don’t see them being at much risk for relegation.

  8. fischy says:

    Really, dudes. Get over this. It’s a one-month sporting event, more than a decade from now. SO, the USA will get the ’26 Cup instead. Big deal If you want to get this worked up about greed and corruption that really affects your daily lives, you should be out with the Occupy protesters, demanding an end to the ever-growing revolving door between Goldman-Sachs and now nearly every democracy in the Western world. You want to complain about corruption — start here.

  9. Second City says:

    Complaining about complaining. Oh internet, how beautifully demented you are.

  10. Kevin_Amold says:

    Maybe a few people here do complain about this corruption you speak of….just not on a soccer blog.

  11. martha says:

    Change the dates?

    Is their anything these oil sheiks wont ruin or corrupt?

    why not play with 20 a team so they dont get too tired?
    how about unlimited subs?
    Why not have a two minute warnings?
    while we are at it lets abolish offsides cause the Sheiks dont like it.
    How about we require players to wear a beard? Play in traditional Qatar clothing?
    how about lets play 3 periods instead of two halves? Oh wait they are thinking about that too?
    Hey how about four quarters?
    How about we just let Qatar win the world cup?

    Platini is a corrupt stroke. Glad he missed the PK in the Semis and glad he got to taste Larios on his wife.

  12. Mug says:

    Is this the same guy who kills MLS for it’s winter schedule? Qatar world cup is a joke.

  13. beachbum says:

    exactly…excellent reply, thanks

  14. Harp says:

    It’s an insult picking Qatar over almost any other country.

  15. John says:

    So the 2022 World Cup would be in January 2022 or December 2022?

  16. Shane says:

    Hey fischy, it is FIFA that insist governments stay out of the sport yet there is evidence Sarkozy and the Qatar royal family influenced Platini’s decision to vote for Qatar. That is what people are complaining about. They $#&*in’ hypocrites.

  17. Rory says:

    I’m gonna apply Occam’s razor here and say the simplist explination is the right one, no conspiracy theory needed, Qatar just bought Platini’s vote.

  18. Rory says:

    But then the Qatari’s would go public on how they took cash for the vote. It would get nasty as Qatar has nothing to lose at that point and will instead ruin the careers of the FIFA execs. Pretty obvious why they will not take it away from Qatar. The only hope is that the 2022 WC is so far away we could get new execs… yeah right.

  19. SwerveZ says:

    and I was thinking all along that Platini was one of the good guys…How could you, in your right mind, vote for Qatar for the WC without being bribed.

  20. Marco says:

    Or maybe some of us are grown-ups and don’t see the value of some rich college kids enjoying a few months of pretending they are saving the world by hanging out in a park. Grow up, learn some career skills and get a job… even if, *gasp* it isn’t your dream job right out of college!

    You don’t see MLS players marching in the street demanding the whole system is unfair and must be overturned because first year pro’s don’t get to go straight into the Manchester United starting lineup.

    This is what happens when youth sports teams start handing out trophies based on participation and not excellence.

  21. OmarVizquel says:

    He has stated he wanted to bring the WC to the region. I mean, fair enough. But the technical problems are just huge, and it doesn’t help that there are so many allegations of vote-buying, plus the growing economic (ie, oil) links between France and Qatar just scream impropriety. Platini basically swayed the whole vote in Qatar’s favor.

  22. NC Jeff says:

    The powers-that-be are considering moving one competition after another after another … all because they chose to have the WC in Qatar … in summer … instead of USA, Australia, South Korea, or Japan. Just unbelievable.

    I’m a fairly new fan to soccer, so tell me if I’m crazy for saying this?: The number of established players retiring from international duty immediately after the 2018 WC will be far greater than normal.

  23. JGD says:

    I would think December…but with FIFA, who knows.

  24. Khan says:

    Let me get this straight…

    FIFA is so corrupt that a group of monied men with no experience in the world of football are able to not only purchase the world’s most prestigious sporting event, but completely alter how it’s organized and when it’s played, changing history and a tradition that spans more than a century.

  25. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    “”How can people go to Qatar in 50 degrees (celsius) in June? If the people can’t come to enjoy it, it’s not good.””

    Well PLATINI, maybe you should have thought about that BEFORE YOU VOTED FOR QATAR YOU NUMSKULL.

  26. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

    The first WC was in 1930. 80 years < a century.

  27. Rory says:

    Best part is Qatar is probably not going to be the economic heaven in 2022 that it is today. As we saw with the UAE, nobody is recession proof/economic crisis proof and Qatar’s riches are based on natural gas, not oil… the same market that is about to be flooded/dominated by the US as we retool our extraction methods.

    Not likely Qatar is going to be broke by any means, but in ten years they will not be the trading partner they are now for anyone.

    But how could the screening committee, the guys that inspect these things before the votes, ever allow a Qatar bid that didn’t specifically declare “will be played in Winter”? FIFA required the youth tournaments hosted in Qatar to be played in April so why not apply the same rule to the biggest sporting event in the world?

  28. Rory says:

    It’s such a joke. If you wanted to kill soccer in America you would do the following:

    1) promotion/relegation (see how many owners pay up $40 million to join the second division, then see how the MLS survives without the expansion fee money)

    2) European (well, non-scandinavian, non Russian) calender, see how many fans show up in a snow storm, see how well the ratings are against NFL playoffs and March Madness, and the opening month of baseball when people are excited about that.

  29. Rory says:

    Ratings would be better in January, right? No religious holidays to draw viewers away. You have to think in terms of money.

  30. Khan says:

    Lol yeah that’s just a ridiculous quote.

  31. FattyMatty says:

    Platini: “How can people go to Qatar in 50 degrees (celsius) in June? If the people can’t come to enjoy it, it’s not good.”

    Uhh…that’s exactly what you voted for. And if you change the WC to the winter months, shouldn’t there be a re-vote since that was not part of the initial proposal?

    What a joke. Shame on you Platini.

  32. Khan says:

    You are correct, but I am also thinking of the original amateur championships held every 4 years prior to the World Cup. They were technically a part of the Olympics, but not in the capacity that we now see it.

  33. Sgc says:

    I’m usually not given to conspiracy theories, but I’m wondering if all this Winter WC talk is a secret ploy to take it away from Qatar.

    Look at the first half of his statement:
    “How can people go to Qatar in 50 degrees (celsius) in June? If the people can’t come to enjoy it, it’s not good.”

    He goes on, of course, to say that UEFA could easily reschedule the games in the winter. . . but the clubs/leagues would go apoplectic at losing their guys mid-season (or even just being told when they have to schedule their games), and he knows it.

  34. Modibo says:

    Let’s see… who else will not be able to enjoy it?

    Anyone who is or is suspected of being a homosexual;
    Women who are used to being in public;
    Anyone who drinks before, during or after a sporting contest (!!!).

    Sounds like fun. I’ll be watching the travesty on TV, thanks.

  35. KEV says:

    Yea, exactly. Hey, here is an idea to fix the problem – NOT have the World Cup in a freaking desert!

    My second question would be: what happens to the Confederations Cup – which takes place a year before, typically in the home country of the WC?

    And then…..based on that scheduling, how does that effect the Gold Cup, etc.?

    10 years away and it is already becoming a mess.

  36. Judging Amy says:

    Exactly right. All this crap should’ve been sorted beforehand. How could the committee not have discussed this at all when considering the bid?

  37. Judging Amy says:

    Exactly. I get that its still 10 years off, but its not like 11 stadiums and stadium cooling a/c technology are gonna be developed right away.

    Its ridiculous that the bid committee which undoubtedly knew about all the problems with the Qatari bid, awarded it to Qatar over countries that have virtually perfect infrastructures and conditions in place for the WC.

  38. Khan says:

    Yeah, no chance this ever happens. Qatar will not host the event.

    Changing the World Cup would require that almost every tournament for two years preceding be altered, not to mention all of the Euro leagues would be forced to alter their schedules as well.

    It would cost billions to change just the things not even directly related to the event itself.

  39. Judging Amy says:

    you must be joking. since you think the occupy movement is legitimate you must be out in the cold with the protesters right now. i take it you made that comment from some sort of mobile device?

    by your logic, why are you even wasting time posting to this soccer site when you could be protesting corporate injustice?

  40. Luke says:

    O’Neill lost all credibility when he left Aston Vila 5 days before the start of last season. If he was unhappy about the funds available for transfers at Vila, he’s going to be even unhappier at Sunderland.

  41. Kodi says:

    Personally, I like the beard idea!

  42. Judging Amy says:

    bahahahahah. you may have a few screws loose but you’re also hilarious.

  43. lprevolution says:

    Frown on you Marco… You certainly almost saw a work stoppage last MLS season didn’t you? I remember being a card-holding player in Bolivia in 92′ and playing for nothing. We didn’t play that season.

    Your comment is what happens when you drink from a fountain of ignorance and presumption. Not many are really looking for a dream job. Just a job for the most part. Can you live on $7.50 per hour? How about even $15.00 per hour, pay $800.00/month in child support, $500.00 in health insurance, rent, travel, food, buy a ticket to an MLS game?

    I played for tournament team called the Young Republicans for Christ and Minimum Wage. I advise you to take the name and show up to the next Tea Party.

    Love and Light to you my man. Now watch some footy, comment on it, and pipe down. Soccer is a working man’s game. I’ll recommend a good footy book for you “The world’s game.” You know, “The World” where most of us live on a few bucks a week.

  44. Judging Amy says:

    yup. typical euro snobbery. absurd how americans are viewed as the jingoistic, arrogant ones throughout the world when we’re generally the nicest and most tolerant people.

  45. lprevolution says:

    … Judging amy: A creature that lives under a bridge, a hook under the water of a moving boat.

  46. lprevolution says:

    While you have a “judge” in your sock puppet.

  47. Judging Amy says:

    Your point still stands. Tradition and history mean nothing to a group that wants to establish a “legacy”. Not only does FIFA bring us soccer, it brings the world together. Clearly awarding Qatar the World Cup will solve the Western world’s issues w/the Middle East.

    And FIFA gets mad duckets too. Everybody wins.

  48. Agent Bruce says:

    Agent Bruce, reporting back for duty at Newcastle. Job’s only half done. Mackems finally figured out I was a Newcastle double agent.

  49. Judging Amy says:

    No no no all that stuff is fine. They’re going to have “zones” where all that activity will be permitted see. Drunk/gay/infidel zones. I wonder if they’ll look like the penalty boxes in hockey.

  50. wilyboy says:

    FIFA: Moving heaven and earth.. to see if there’s gold underneath.

  51. Judging Amy says:

    I don’t want to get my hopes up but I hope so badly you are right.

    For some reason I think FIFA will let this WC happen in the heat before they give it to someone else. They could care less about the fan/player experience. They’ll find some way to spin it as an adequate environment.

  52. Khan says:

    Yeah, but who knows what could happen in 10 years. Either way, something’s got to give, we shouldn’t be having this discussion in the first place.

  53. Khan says:

    Hockey boxes, great visual haha

    “4 minute major for being gay, get in the box.”

  54. blag says:

    Schools start up in the US (not sure about other countries off the top of my head) and there are still some religious holidays in some countries. If schooling is going on, that kills a crap ton of travel.

  55. tony says:

    That’s what they would hope for after the disaster that would take place. Players would probably need oxygen masks to survive playing 90 minutes.

  56. Kevin_Amold says:

    Excellent question.

  57. RLW2020 says:

    wow, what a joke this guy (and all the big shot FIFA admins) are. Absolutly no respect for them..

    the best part is MLS won’t be affected either way but if I was an EPL or other fall-spring league fan I would just not participate in this WC.

    Also this has to guarentee either USA or England ’26 World Cup as FIFA will need to recouperate and run an “less risky/more feasible” world cup after this mess.

  58. Joseph D'Hippolito says:

    fischy, nobody gives a damn about your delusional left-wing politics. Even if the United States had not bid for either 2018 or 2022, awarding the cup to Qatar smells fishy (no pun intended). Given how corrupt most national and continental soccer federations are, it’s perfectly logical to guess that Platini would be acting under “orders” from Sarkozy.

    The fact of the matter, fischy, is that the vast majority of us who love soccer are sick and tired of the blatant corruption at the sport’s highest levels. This isn’t merely about the U.S. not hosting a World Cup. It’s about the kind of pervasive, internal corruption that makes the Catholic hierarchy look like the Salvation Army.

  59. Joamiq says:

    “Get over this. It’s a one-month sporting event”

    Belittling the World Cup pretty much wrecks your credibility here.

    Also, I’d put money on 2026 going to either a UEFA country or China or Australia. And 2030 will go to a UEFA country or an Asian country, whichever didn’t get 2026. Our next shot is probably 2034.

  60. dgoshilla says:

    When is there going to be a true investigation of the FIFA voting? Nobody can look me in the eye and tell me Qatar didn’t buy this WC.

  61. Dennis says:

    Great, I’ll be 88 by then, at least I won’t have to travel. Of course:

    “No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.” – L. Tomlin

  62. Dennis says:

    Apparently the engineers in Qatar now say it is impossible to air-condition the stadiums, something that was promised in the bid.

  63. Dennis says:

    Once again:

    “No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.” – L. Tomlin

  64. tim says:

    Unlikely. We’ve been using Hainault at right back. This was a ploy to get Boswell to re-sign for less. If it backfired, Hainault wouldve have moved to center back with Sarkodie covering at right, not a bad drop. But now, expect the Dynamo defense to be exactly the same as it was at the end of this past season.

  65. Alex G says:

    Everything is just about money, FIFA officials knew then and know now that it was the worst candidacy, Australia had a better infrastructure to host the event. I´m sick of this issue, we were robbed.

  66. Alex G says:

    well said and I stand corrected…

  67. Big Chil says:

    (eyes rolling)

    Someone is Fox well-informed.

  68. DingDong says:

    I almost wonder if a bunch of people voted for Qatar so they could collect their payoffs but thinking there is no way Qatar would actually win. And now they are thinking, “sh*t, this is for real.””

  69. c'mon says:

    Sepp probably thinks he’ll be dead by then, so he couldn’t care less.

  70. Guy Gayle says:

    Embrace the power of “and”.

    I can get worked up over the corruption of FIFA, AND the corruption of Wall Street and the big banks.

    Read some Dave Zirin. You’ll get the best of both worlds. :)